Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people.
Not from author: This post is a travesty. The intent was solid but the follow through was malarky. Are Dreadlocks cultural appropriation? Yes. Everything after the “Yes,” should be ignored. The corrected post is here.
Are Dreadlocks really cultural appropriation?
Dreadlocks originated first with Jamaican Rastafarians and then in Indian Sages and Yogis. Specifically it was started by holy men. These men renounced all of their worldly belongings (Including combs) and as a result their hair started (and remained) to turn into dreadlocks. In the beginning, it was actually something very beautiful to show that you’d given yourself and all that you possessed to GOD.
Then, it turned into something ugly. When these holy people were seen by others, they were looked down on. Seen as less than because as they gave up all they had, that also meant they gave up their money. They were the poorest of the poor and the dreadlock became a sign of being poor, dirty and less than human.
This was an extremely spiritual symbol. It was not a fad or something people did to show their love of weed.
As time went on, the Indian culture did not see anything terribly interesting about the dreadlocks. However, Jamaicans as well as those in the Caribbean thought otherwise. They believed that the dreadlocks were part of a religious lifestyle and actually considered the hair to be holy and powerful.
Dreadlocks are believed to have made it to the USA during the time of slavery. Both Black slaves as well as Indian slaves were captured and both brought this holy symbol and belief with them.
For the ignorant that want to get dreadlocks because they are Bob Marley fans or because they “Like the Rastafarian lifestyle.” I say, FUCK YOU. Many of you believe that the “Lifestyle” you like so much is about “Relaxing and smoking weed.” Nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, if Bob Marley was any kind of representation for your wanting the locks in the first place, you know absolutely NOTHING about Bob Marley.
He was a truly spiritual man. His hair, his lyrics and the way he lived his life were representative of this. (Yes, he did some questionable things. That isn’t what this post is about though) For you to take a spiritual symbol and chalk it up to your love of weed, is not only appropriation, it is down right disgusting and cruel. There is this gross misconception that just because religion is a weapon, an afterthought or something to reference during political debate in this country that it is the same in others. IT IS NOT. Your actions are shameful and mean. You are acting disrespectfully and you have chosen to do so with no forethought or concern for who you are hurting.
This “Hair style” that you are choosing to believe is about sticking it to your parents, smoking weed, “loving” Bob Marley (even thought you clearly know nothing about him) or even about “Love and peace” is SO MUCH BIGGER THAN THAT. It is just not bigger than that TO YOU. It isn’t “That big a deal” TO YOU. That is how you know without a shadow of a doubt that you are in fact a bigoted cultural appropriator. You just don’t give a damn. Privilege and entitlement reign supreme.
I have no respect or kindness for those that chose willful ignorance. It took me less than three seconds to find this information on Google. I don’t mean, it took three-ish seconds guys. I mean, I timed myself and found page after page after page of this information. I mean, I timed myself and withing those three seconds, I found more than one page that answered every single question I had. What is your excuse? You are CHOOSING to be a racist, bigoted, cultural appropriating piece of garbage. It is not okay.